After five fatalities in less than two weeks, state lawmakers are calling on Caltrans to take emergency steps to improve safety conditions along Highway 12 near Lodi.
"This has become one of the most dangerous stretches of roads in Northern California and immediate action is necessary to fix it," said Assem. Lois Wolk, D-Davis.
Two people died Saturday night after a two-vehicle crash near the Tower Bridge Marina, west of Interstate 5 and Lodi. Alcohol may have played a role in the collision. Three others have died in recent weeks on this same stretch of highway, including an 18-year-old man.
Wolk introduced legislation earlier this year aimed at improving conditions along the dangerous highway. Her bill, AB 112, would double the base fines for certain traffic violations that occur along the stretch of Highway 12 that runs between Interstate 5 and Highway 80.
"These double-fine zones are intended to deter the reckless, unsafe driving that has claimed too many lives on what has come to be known as 'Blood Alley,'" she said.
Under Wolk's bill, drivers cited for speeding, reckless driving or drunk driving along the designated strip could face double fines.
Wolk is also asking Caltrans to develop more immediate safety precautions. She said temporary medians may be one solution, and plans to amend her legislation to include emergency barriers if Caltrans does not act on its own.
Highway 12 Safety Meeting
There will be a public meeting to discuss Highway 12 on Tuesday, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Lodi Public Library in the Bud Sullivan room. Attending will be state and local government elected officials, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol. For more information call (209) 333-5330.
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Created: 3/19/2007 1:09:13 PM
Updated: 3/19/2007 5:57:20 PM